Helping vulnerable seniors ‘make ends meet’

The federal government marked National Seniors Day by reminding Canadians about the steps it’s taking to help those struggling to make ends meet.

“After a lifetime of hard work, Canadian seniors deserve a secure and dignified retirement. However, for some, the rising cost of living is making it more difficult to make ends meet,” Minister of Seniors Kamal Khera and Minister of Health Jean-Yves Duclos said in a joint statement.

Canada has celebrated National Seniors Day on October 1st every year since 2011.

This fall, the government introduced legislation to double the GST credit for six months to support those most impacted by inflation. A single senior with $20,000 in net income will receive $233.50 for the July through December 2022 period and another $233.50 for the January through June 2023 period under the current GST Credit. With the temporary doubling of the GST Credit amounts for six months, that senior would receive an additional $233.50.

“We are also working to deliver a $500 payment to nearly two million low-income renters who are struggling with the cost of housing, including seniors,” the ministers report. Under the Affordability Plan, the Old Age Security pension for seniors aged 75 years and older increased by 10 per cent starting this past summer. That will provide more than $766 in new support to full pensioners in the first year and increase the benefits received by more than three million seniors, the government reports.

It increased the Guaranteed Income Supplement for single seniors by up to $947 per year and raised Canada Pension Plan payments for future retirees. The government invested $1 billion through the Safe Long-term Care Fund to support provinces and territories to protect those living and working in long-term care settings and to improve infection prevention and control measures. The government is also investing in research to improve programs, services and products available to older adults.

“Today and every day, it is important to remember the generations of Canadians who came before us and to recognize, appreciate, and connect with the seniors in our lives. We are here thanks to the courage they demonstrated in striving for a better future,” remind Khera and Duclos.

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